He is turning 50 and it terrifies him.
Although he looks younger than his years, he is clearly trying to deny his years: Hair dyed. Clothes hip. Tie gone. And now, I hear, wife gone too.
"I'm starting over," he tells me. "I had to."
His kids aren't thrilled. But he says he can deal with that.
What "I" can't deal with is how much my old friend had changed. Not just the startling new look, but the anger.
He's restless and annoyed.
At what, I can't figure out.
One thing we both agree on is how fast the time has gone by. From our days in grad school together, when life seemed limitless and possibilities endless.
When our parents were alive, then were gone. And some of our friends too.
We're not that old, I tell him.
"That's the difference between you and me, Neil," he jokes. "I refuse to age gracefully."
So he has started anew and I am a-wonder. Over a friend who says he wants to make something of his life, even if it means jettisoning all he once held dear in his life: new look, new job and soon... new wife.
He is a good man, who seems, for the moment stuck in a bad way. Time has marched on and he isn't a happy soldier.
I tell him I wish him the very best. But I leave feeling very sad. For a friend who was restless as a kid, who decades later just wants to be one… again.
One last time.
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